Events & Festivals in the Vancouver Island Region

2011 Parksville Beach Festival

Whales, flowers, music, art, wine, birds, oysters, boats, beaches, the harvest, books, beer, salmon, Christmas lights, cars, chili, apples, fishing — in the Vancouver Island region, we celebrate everything we love! Concerts, theatre, music, dance, team sports, international competitions, and a raft of maritime events — it’s all here.

Many of our festivals are ideal for families — the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, Tidemark Children’s Festival, Nanaimo Marine Festival and World Championship Bathtub Races, National Aboriginal Day, Parksville Beach Festival, and Kidsfest.

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Tourism Mount Washington

Mount Washington • North Central Island
250-338-0226
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Tourism Mount Washington will help you discover Mount Washington Accommodations and facilities.  Explore all of the cultural attractions, activities, shopping and dining options within 45 minutes drive of the mountain.  Whether looking for an active family getaway, a reunion, wedding location or company retreat, Mount Washington, Vancouver Island’s all-season alpine to surf destination treats visitors to the perfect combination of rugged west coast beauty and outdoor adventure.  Winter highlights skiing and snowboarding in the mile high alpine.

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Tourism Mount Washington will help you discover Mount Washington Accommodations and facilities.  Explore all of the cultural attractions, activities, shopping and dining options within 45 minutes drive of the mountain.…
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Tourism Cowichan

Cowichan Region • Cowichan
1-888-303-3337
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Taste what Cowichan is all about! Our 17 wineries, most of which are within 30 minutes of each other, produce classic reds, whites and sparkling wines. Cowichan’s climate and setting provide one of the best locales for growing Pinot grapes, and the resulting wines are gaining great respect on the world stage. Fruit wines, blackberry port-style wines, ciders, vodkas and brandies round out the list of delectable libations unique to the Cowichan Region.

Cowichan’s pretty towns offer an eclectic mix of art galleries, boutique shops, piers, marinas and markets. More than 40 murals and 30 totem poles grace the streets of Chemainus and Duncan, making them two of the world’s largest outdoor art galleries, and a slow, relaxed lifestyle is evident in the rural countryside and seaside villages.

Fast becoming one of the top culinary destinations in Canada, Cowichan is home to organic farms, artisan food-producers and fisheries. Pick up any ‘foodie’ magazine these days and it usually has an article on chefs, culinary celebrities, authors and food enthusiasts who have chosen to live and work in the Cowichan region. The delicious results of their labors show they follow the mantra of fresh, local, seasonal and sustainable in all they create. Each community presents a host of distinctive dining experiences.

Some of the best mountain biking on the Island, golfing at six courses, world class river and lake fishing, kayaking, exceptional bird watching and whale watching make the Cowichan region a favourite with outdoor enthusiasts. At 614 ft long and 145 feet above the Koksilah River, the Kinsol Trestle must be experienced to be believed. It is one of the largest wooden trestles in the world and connects hundreds of kilometres of superb hiking and cycling trails.

The calm, protected waters of the east coast are a world-wide destination for sail and power boaters and Cowichan has more than a dozen marinas, plus small boat harbours and government docks. For those that want to enjoy the marine setting from land, many marinas feature waterside restaurants or pubs. For the more adventurous several dive sites, including a sunken Boeing 737, offer some of the best cold water diving in the world.

Shops and galleries featuring locally made clothing, jewellery, art, books and antiques dot the main urban centres. In Duncan you’ll find the authentic, internationally renowned Cowichan sweaters. Venture into the countryside for farmgate stands and artisan studios. Six outdoor farmers’ markets attract vendors of fresh produce, hand-made artisanal foods, and innumerable arts and crafts.

Cowichan is also a festival destination, showcasing hundreds of artists, live music and professional theatre virtually every day of the year.

Accommodation options range from well-appointed hotels & motels, hundreds of delightful B&B’s, RV Parks and camping to yurts, houseboats and floathomes. There is something for everyone and every budget.

Stretching from coast to coast, the Cowichan region lies between Victoria and Nanaimo. The Trans Canada Hwy connects the two, but a myriad of gorgeous country side roads get you where you’re going in a tranquil and scenic fashion. Stunning water, forest and country views are around every corner. Another option is the Pacific Marine Circle Route which allows motorists to explore wine country, unspoiled back country, the wild west coast, First Nations history, a range of villages, towns and cities as well as numerous fabulous parks all in one fantastic road trip!

Discover why one day in Cowichan just isn’t enough. Plan to stay and give yourself time to enjoy this amazingly varied region.

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Taste what Cowichan is all about! Our 17 wineries, most of which are within 30 minutes of each other, produce classic reds, whites and sparkling wines. Cowichan’s climate and setting…
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Parksville and Qualicum Beach

Coombs, Errington, Parksville, Qualicum Beach • Central Island
1-888-799-3222
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We revel in our uniqueness and the amount of fun that you can have in Parksville Qualicum Beach. Seeing goats on a roof, exploring underground caves, viewing world-class sand sculptures and visiting a research station shaped like a giant shell are just some of the quirky experiences you’ll be able to tell your friends about back home.

Our visitors yearn for a connection to the past and, in particular, to their past. You want to relive moments that have made you who you are and share new memories with your families. We can help in Parksville Qualicum Beach, because the activities we offer, and the spirit in which we offer them, is reminiscent of a better, purer time.

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We revel in our uniqueness and the amount of fun that you can have in Parksville Qualicum Beach. Seeing goats on a roof, exploring underground caves, viewing world-class sand sculptures…
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Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition

The Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition is a world-class event! Master Sand Sculptors travel from all corners of the globe to participate in our remarkable competition and exhibition in Parksville, BC, Canada. Sculptors have 24 hours over three days to create their masterpieces from just sand and water (and a lot of ingenuity!) Competition July 13 – 14; Exhibition July 15 – August 18, 2013.
Parksville • Central Island
250-951-2678
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Chemainus Theatre

Visiting the Chemainus Theatre Festival will tease (and please) your senses. The gorgeous theatre, with a charming seaside view, is one of Vancouver Island’s best places to watch diverse and imaginative plays, enjoy rhythmic song and musicals, taste delicious, show inspired meals, and breathe-in the creative ambiance of BC art.
Chemainus • Cowichan
1-800-565-7738
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Travelodge Nanaimo

Conveniently located minutes from BC Ferries Departure Bay Ferry Terminal, Downtown Nanaimo and Harbour Walkway. Friendly, helpful staff. Rooms are newly renovated, affordable, non-smoking rooms with balconies. Pet friendly rooms available. Free breakfast, Wifi, parking. Bus, truck and RV parking available. Sauna, coin laundry and fax services. Adjacent & downtown restaurants offer exclusive 10% discount to all guests.
Nanaimo • Central Island
1-800-667-0598
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Unsworth Vineyards

Nestled in the foothills of Mill bay, Unsworth Vineyards is dedicated to making wines that reflect the unique character of the Cowichan Valley. A vision of sustainable farming and premium wines is complimented by Amusé on the Vineyard; a casual and elegant bistro serving natural local foods.
Mill Bay • Cowichan
250-929-2292
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Pineridge Farms

PineRidge Farm is a 70 acre plot of land located in the pristine Spider Lake/Horne Lake area 10 minutes north of Qualicum Beach. We sell what we grow and support other local farmers too. Offering a full selection of fresh produce, breads, fresh culinary sausages and meats,dairy products as well. We serve up premium quality coffees and specialty coffees along with Island Farms delicious ice cream cones.
Qualicum Beach • Central Island
250-757-8897
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Duncan Business Improvement Area Society

Shopping in Downtown Duncan is fresh, fun and fabulous! Our jem of a town boasts hundreds of remarkable shops and services.  The quality and diversity of what we have to offer surprises and delights visitors from near and far. Just one hour from Nanaimo or Victoria on Vancouver Island, with plenty of free 3-hour parking spots or parking for $1-2 dollars for extended visits.
Duncan • Cowichan
250-715-1700
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Tourism Chemainus

Chemainus is one of the most beloved places by visitors to Vancouver Island.  An Arts & Cultural Destination that is famous for its well over 40 murals painted on the towns various walls.  Golf, diving, shopping and exploring our natural surroundings in this seaside village.
Chemainus • Cowichan
250-246-3944
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Discover Comox Valley

Perched on the eastern edge of Vancouver Island, the Comox Valley is more than just a location, it’s a lifestyle. The rolling mountains, rushing rivers, pristine lakes and lush rainforest of the Comox Valley create an outdoor lover’s paradise where it really is possible to enjoy the best of all seasons in a single day. You can be knee deep in an alpine wonderland, then within half an hour be dusting the snow off your boots on a golf course. Locals and visitors both soon discover that in the Comox Valley, outdoor adventure doesn’t take the winter off! The perfect […]
Comox, Courtenay, Cumberland • North Central Island
1-855-400-2882